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Electric shock

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I got a few shocks off the chassis today when I was strapping down the winter cover. I was kneeling on a very wet drive, it wasn’t a full on kick but rather a unpleasant tingle so I guess I have an earth problem somewhere. Caravan has just been serviced so I hope it’s electrical system is ok.

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I suggest you disconnect the positive terminal and then get the servicing company to check it.

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Having it serviced is of no consequence because the service doesn't include any electrical work. the Earth leakage would trip if there was anything wrong. Have you tested it? I assume your caravan is connected to the 230VAC supply. Are you covering it for the winter with the mains connected?

Edited by Ern

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13 minutes ago, barnowl said:

I got a few shocks off the chassis today when I was strapping down the winter cover. I was kneeling on a very wet drive, it wasn’t a full on kick but rather a unpleasant tingle so I guess I have an earth problem somewhere. Caravan has just been serviced so I hope it’s electrical system is ok.

Have you got the mains lead connected?

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It's not clear from your post if your caravan was connected to a mains electricity supply at the time you received a shock. I ask because there are two possibilities as to its cause, one being a static electricity build-up, which shouldn't be a concern. The other is a fault on the mains voltage system which most certainly requires the attention of an electrician if that was the cause.  

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I occasionally get a small static shock of cars.   If it's that, it might be you rather than the caravan.

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6 minutes ago, Ern said:

Having it serviced is of no consequence because the service doesn't include any electrical work. t

Horrified that they do not check for electrical safety in a service.

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49 minutes ago, barnowl said:

I got a few shocks off the chassis today when I was strapping down the winter cover. I was kneeling on a very wet drive, it wasn’t a full on kick but rather a unpleasant tingle so I guess I have an earth problem somewhere. Caravan has just been serviced so I hope it’s electrical system is ok.

Need more info.   

Was the caravan connected to the house mains supply (switched on or off) or was it disconnected completely?

 

I had around 60 V ac between washer and kitchen sink in my first home in 1980.   Caused by mains 'earth' at the machine and water pipe 'earth' being different.   When I rewired and added the required bonding all was cured.   Current was miniscule, but Volts enough to 'shock'.

 

The wet ground could easily be at a (small) different potential (Voltage) to the metalwork of the chassis when connected on a long cable to the house 'earth'.

 

Edit:  A service should include basic electrical safety checks.

 

Edited by Rodders53

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Thanks for the replies. All fixed. It was connected to the mains. Whilst I was checking the leads the elec garage door started going down without me pressing the button, quick check of the garage earth rod revealed a missing clamp bolt. Goodness knows how long it’s been like that!

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With electricity, never assume that the other guy knows what he is doing!  Always check it yourself.  He might say it's switched off, wired correctly, etc, and he might well think it is, but unless you have seen the switch to "OFF" yourself, or you know that live is to live, and not to neutral, you're never 100% sure.  I'm not offended if someone checks my work, and I hope no-one is offended if I check their's.  You only live once!!

 

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3 minutes ago, PeteG said:

With electricity, never assume that the other guy knows what he is doing!  Always check it yourself.  He might say it's switched off, wired correctly, etc, and he might well think it is, but unless you have seen the switch to "OFF" yourself, or you know that live is to live, and not to neutral, you're never 100% sure.  I'm not offended if someone checks my work, and I hope no-one is offended if I check their's.  You only live once!!

 

I thought if one had an electrician to work in your home someone was required to sign his work off.

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22 minutes ago, barnowl said:

Thanks for the replies. All fixed. It was connected to the mains. Whilst I was checking the leads the elec garage door started going down without me pressing the button, quick check of the garage earth rod revealed a missing clamp bolt. Goodness knows how long it’s been like that!

Fixed it may be, but I would still be a little concerned that there was some leakage to earth. The earth connection should be a safety measure and I don't think it should routinely be carrying any current at all. Any experts care to comment on this?

2 minutes ago, David Park said:

I thought if one had an electrician to work in your home someone was required to sign his work off.

A qualified electrician will normally sign off his own work!

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2 hours ago, Stevan said:

Fixed it may be, but I would still be a little concerned that there was some leakage to earth. The earth connection should be a safety measure and I don't think it should routinely be carrying any current at all. Any experts care to comment on this?

A qualified electrician will normally sign off his own work!

You need an earth to complete the circuit. If you have no earth it will find another way, in my case through my hand and earthing to the wet drive at my knee.  

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25 minutes ago, barnowl said:

You need an earth to complete the circuit. If you have no earth it will find another way, in my case through my hand and earthing to the wet drive at my knee.  

It should be the Neutral that completes the circuit not the Earth. That's why Earth Leak Circuit Breakers were invented! 

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14 minutes ago, Stevan said:

It should be the Neutral that completes the circuit not the Earth. That's why Earth Leak Circuit Breakers were invented! 

I stand corrected you are quite right.  

Ive been out and done some more checks.

 

 Disconnected The earth rod and measured the current whilst my son turned things off one by one in the garage and the current disappears when the caravan is hook up is removed so clearly there’s an issue with the van.

will be phoning the dealer in the morning.

 

 

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Had exactly the same thing happen couple of years ago on a site in Switzerland.   If I touched a wheel, the chassis then I got a "tingle.   I was on mains hook up.

 

I changed my site electricity point to an other one and it no longer happened.

 

Conclusion that there was something wrong with the first site point but not being an electrician I had no idea what!

Emailed dealer who told me not to be concerned as the van was fully covered for any electrical problem - the power would trip if there was any danger!

 

Met a German later in Italy who had the chassis of his motorhome grounded.   He used a croc clip on the chassis and same on a tent peg at the other end of a short piece of wire.   He said that it was quite common to find problems and always added this earth which solved any issues.

 

I'm not an electrician so please don't expect anything but a simple list of what happened in my case.  

 

I have to say though, that the German and his wife were both engineers and by the sound of it not beginners!  They were the sort of people who certainly seemed very knowledgeable and had experienced similar problems to mine in the past.  

 

Needless to say I've never had any similar problems since either here in the UK or abroad.   I made my own earth thingy but it just sits in my box of bits and pieces.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Rodders53 said:

Edit:  A service should include basic electrical safety checks.

 

I wasn't aware of that. What electrical safety check is carried out?

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My annual service includes RCD & MCB checks, earth  bonding examination and socket polarity tests - all fairly basic, but at least I know it's been done by a competent person.

 

John

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9 hours ago, Johnaldo said:

My annual service includes RCD & MCB checks, earth  bonding examination and socket polarity tests - all fairly basic, but at least I know it's been done by a competent person.

 

John

I have seen the items you mention on the NCC check list, but . ..

Wiring earths check for defects on LV circuits (visual). (ticked)

LV inlet plug and extension lead-check condition & resistance. (NA box ticked)

Earth bonding-visual inspection. (NA box ticked)

Check RCD and MCB's. (ticked)

This stuff is like most of the "blether" on the NCC check list and almost worthless.

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16 hours ago, David Park said:

Horrified that they do not check for electrical safety in a service.

Nope all they check is that the electrical connections work i. e. lights switch on and off.   Same applies to gas.   All they are supposed to do is a gas pressure check and make sure the hob and oven switch on and off, but somehow I doubt if they check the latter.   For this privilege you are paying +£200 so money for jam as far as the dealer is concerned.   The only actual work they do during a service I think is the shot nuts?  The rest is just checks.   A service on my Jeep costs less.

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17 hours ago, Ern said:

Having it serviced is of no consequence because the service doesn't include any electrical work. the Earth leakage would trip if there was anything wrong. Have you tested it? I assume your caravan is connected to the 230VAC supply. Are you covering it for the winter with the mains connected?

 

 

Surely the Earth leakage would only trip if you have one at the mains supply ?

 

I think the chassis is earthed to the EHU and the earth leakage protection  would be in the caravans earth circuit ?

 

I keep a plug in tester in my kit in the caravan and test the supply now again and before now I have found no earth as the EHU earth had a wire loose in the 16a plug .

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

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1 hour ago, Durbanite said:

Nope all they check is that the electrical connections work i. e. lights switch on and off.   Same applies to gas.   All they are supposed to do is a gas pressure check and make sure the hob and oven switch on and off, but somehow I doubt if they check the latter.   For this privilege you are paying +£200 so money for jam as far as the dealer is concerned.   The only actual work they do during a service I think is the shot nuts?  The rest is just checks.   A service on my Jeep costs less.

 

I'd find somewhere else to service your van if that's all they do.  

My mobile AWS engineer has some very swish kit which not only checks for the correct operation of the RCD,, but also tests and records the actual time and at what current the RCB trips at.   The values are included on the printed service sheet he hands over to me at the end.

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34 minutes ago, Crannoghome said:

 

I'd find somewhere else to service your van if that's all they do.  

My mobile AWS engineer has some very swish kit which not only checks for the correct operation of the RCD,, but also tests and records the actual time and at what current the RCB trips at.   The values are included on the printed service sheet he hands over to me at the end.

 

 

But they usually have a EHU ready connected to plug straight in so your EHU is not used and usually mine is not even disturbed and a number of times it is taken out the locker before the caravan goes in .

 

As said I had no earth connection due to the EHU cable but it showed no fault until I use a 3 pin plug tester in a socket that showed no earth but I don't know how many years and services the caravan had been in for because they don't use it and they just plug in their own to save time .

 

My motorhome went in last week for a service with no EHU and they never made any comment .

 

I thought a electrical service was about £60 and a extra service and a caravan service only requires to check the items in the caravan operate ?

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

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55 minutes ago, Crannoghome said:

 

I'd find somewhere else to service your van if that's all they do.  

My mobile AWS engineer has some very swish kit which not only checks for the correct operation of the RCD,, but also tests and records the actual time and at what current the RCB trips at.   The values are included on the printed service sheet he hands over to me at the end.

All dealers and most AWS are the same when it comes to checking electrics as it is not included in the service sheet.  

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